Last updated: October 2017. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) we get about red light therapy and infrared light therapy.
- Infrared Light Therapy for Pain
- How Deep Does the Infrared Wavelength Penetrate?
- How Long Will it Take for the Pain to Go Away?
- How Often Can I Use an Infrared Home System for Pain and Healing?
- What’s the Best Wavelength for Pain Relief and Healing?
- Does Infrared light therapy hurt?
- Can I treat my pets with Infrared Therapy?
- Red Light Therapy for the Skin
- How Long Until I See Skin Results?
- Can Red Light Therapy be Combined with Other Wavelengths?
- What is LED Light Therapy?
- Is Laser More Effective Than Red Light Therapy?
- Can I Use My Regular Skin Care Products While Using Red Light Therapy?
- Can I Use Retinoids and LED Light Therapy Together?
- Can Red Light Therapy Cause Skin Cancer?
- Can I Use Red Light Therapy When I’m Pregnant?
- Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing and Scarring
- How Long Will It Take to Heal a Chronic Wound?
- How Long Will It Take to Heal a Scar with Red Light Therapy?
- Can I use red light therapy after Botox injections?
- Specific Health Conditions
- Will a Red LED System help with psoriasis?
- Can Red Light Therapy Help With Thinning Hair?
- Can infrared Therapy Heal Toenail Fungus?
- Can Red Light Therapy Heal Rosacea?
- Can Red Light Therapy Reduce Cellulite?
Infrared Light Therapy for Pain
How Deep Does the Infrared Wavelength Penetrate?
Infrared Light Therapy penetrates about 1” to 1 ½” beneath the skin surface.
How Long Will it Take for the Pain to Go Away?
Whether you are using an infrared heating pad, a 2-panel LED device or single heat lamp therapy – It will depend on the extent of the pain and your health condition.
Some will use infrared light (for example, via an infrared bulb) for pain once and feel immediate results (which can last for more than 6 hours), while others will have to use the system 2 to 3 times in a row before they feel significant pain relief.
However, infrared treatment has long-lasting effects,and the more you use it the faster healing you’ll experience.
How Often Can I Use an Infrared Home System for Pain and Healing?
Infrared Light is heat, and can be used every day, with no side effects if used properly.
If you have an infrared heating pad, use a heating setting that feels comfortable and not too hot. Stay hydrated. Wait a day before you use it again, to allow the natural healing process to occur.
If you have a LED system, you can use it up to 30 minutes, twice a day.
When you get that “aahhh” moment of pain relief, you can stop using your home infrared system.
For example, I have a Biomat at home. A Biomat is a full body professional Amethyst infrared heating pad.
The Biomat can be used up to 8 hours, and you can even sleep on it.
See the top 5 infrared heating pads reviewed and rated HERE.
What’s the Best Wavelength for Pain Relief and Healing?
The NASA study, upon which infrared LED therapy was based, used 3 LED wavelengths:
670 nm, 728 nm and 880 nm (infrared).
The 880 nm wavelength was proven to be the most effective.
However, the real key to your home device is the energy delivered (joules/cm2), not the particular nm of the LED device.
A few home units have an energy output that goes as high as 150 joules/cm2.
.For example, the new DPL II LED home system reaches 31 joules per cm2 in 8 minutes.
The more powerful systems are used by physicians and spas and reach this level quicker, but these machines are too expensive for home use and can only be purchased by professionals.
Does Infrared light therapy hurt?
Definitely not. Infrared light therapy is gentle, painless, safe, noninvasive and nonabrasive. There have been no reports of adverse reactions.
Can I treat my pets with Infrared Therapy?
First of all, your pets will love it.
If you have an infrared heating pad, you can use it (on a low setting) for any painful condition your pet suffers from. You can use it for injuries, arthritis, sore hips and post-surgical healing.
Red Light Therapy for the Skin
How Long Until I See Skin Results?
Again, it depends on your specific skin and its condition.
Red light therapy is not an immediate miracle maker. Changes won’t occur over night, but it will give you ongoing anti-aging benefits anywhere from 24 hours to 3 months, depending on your condition and how often the light is used.
To see a noticeable change in wrinkles and fine lines, you may need at least a 2-month home treatment, at least 2 times a week.
(Though some people report results faster, even after one month)
To maintain the improvement, you should continue doing red light therapy home treatments once a week.
You’ll see fast improvements in your skin tone, smoothness and brightening. Some people report this after only 2 weeks (that “healthy glow” we all want).
We recommend treatments for at least 20 weeks, for maximum results.
To keep track of the anti-aging benefits of red light therapy, we recommend taking weekly or monthly pictures with a good quality camera, on the same lighting, at the same time of the day.
Looking in the mirror randomly is not best way to see your progress over time.
Can Red Light Therapy be Combined with Other Wavelengths?
Yes, it can. In fact, most anti-aging home devices combine for red light therapy and infrared light therapy (which can penetrate deeper into your skin).
In acne treatment, it’s highly recommended to use both red and blue light therapy (red after blue) to boost healing of acne and preventing scars.
What is LED Light Therapy?
LED therapy uses color light wavelengths to penetrate and treat the skin, via LED (light emitting diodes.
LED is a light source that emits infrared light (and thereby, heat) when activated. It is most often administered via single light units or 2-panel table top devices that are directed at the skin from a few inches away.
The anti-aging and/or pain relief effects come from exposure to the light. There is no machine-to-skin contact.
Is Laser More Effective Than Red Light Therapy?
While most people think that lasers work better than LED systems, this is not true.
Even recent studies have found that light therapy through LED is just as effective as light therapy via laser diodes.
Once a laser light penetrates the skin it is no longer a collimated beam of light, it is the same as LED.
Can I Use My Regular Skin Care Products While Using Red Light Therapy?
Generally yes, you can still use your regular skin care products.
Before using red light therapy, make sure your skin is thoroughly cleansed off all products. After treatment you can follow-up with your typical skin care routine.
This is because most products can block the penetration and absorption of the light. Others (like benzoyle peroxide or alcohol) can cause skin irritation when used under intense light.
Can I Use Retinoids and LED Light Therapy Together?
As long as you use Retinoids only at night – it’s o.k. Retin-A can cause skin sensitivity to light, that’s why only night use is recommended.
Just be sure to wear daily sunscreen. (we recoomend natural sunscreens, like this one).
Can Red Light Therapy Cause Skin Cancer?
No. Red LED light therapy does not have any UV rays. It is safe for the skin as long as it’s used properly and no over-used. This obviously means that red light therapy alone will not tan your skin.
This study found that red light therapy is safe even in the presence of malignant lesions.
Can I Use Red Light Therapy When I’m Pregnant?
Red LED light therapy is considered safe for pregnancy and breast feeding. RLT only affects the top layers of your skin and do not have a systemic effect since it won’t penetrate deep in your body.
Even if you were to apply RLT to your abdomen, the penetration depth of the light is not going to go anywhere near as deep as the uterus is.
LED devices are also a good, natural option for controlling the hormone-triggered acne of pregnancy. They’re also pain free and require no downtime.
Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing and Scarring
How Long Will It Take to Heal a Chronic Wound?
When healing a chronic severe wound (such as a diabetic ulcer), the healing process is longer and visual. Improvements will be gradual.
According to studies, it can take about two months to heal a chronic wound with red light therapy.
How Long Will It Take to Heal a Scar with Red Light Therapy?
The age of the scar tissue will determine the time required to see results.
Acne scars and scars from other types of injuries can start being visibly improved in as little as two weeks, and should gradually fade over time with continued use.
Home treatments with red light therapy can be used to prevent acne scars in the first place.
We recommend using the science-proven blue light therapy to kill acne-causing bacteria when a pimple “threatens” to show up, and immediately following with red light therapy to speed up healing and preventing new scars.
For this reason, the best acne light therapy home devices combine both blue and red wavelengths.
Can I use red light therapy after Botox injections?
We recommend that you wait at least two weeks after Botox injections before beginning with low-level laser therapy. If you have any concerns, speak with your doctor or dermatologist.
Specific Health Conditions
Will a Red LED System help with psoriasis?
Red an infrared rays increase circulation and helps bring moisture back into the affected skin, which benefits Psoriasis.
Plus, it can reduce the plaques associated with Psoriasis.
A recent study has found that a combination of 830 (nm) (near infrared light) and 630 nm (visible red light) LLLT, can demonstrate a resolution of Psoriasis.
Can Red Light Therapy Help With Thinning Hair?
There are a few promising studies proving accelerated hair growth and stimulation of dormant hair follicles with the use of red light therapy.
Science proves that Low level laser therapy can be used in both men and women for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia
(See the top 3 FDA cleared laser caps (hair growth helmets) for hair loss HERE.)
Studies show that cold laser can regrow your hair on the top of your head/crown and along the forehead hairline
Improvement is reported after 12 to 26 weeks of use, with reduced hair fall and noticeable hair growth.
See how to regrow your hair using red light therapy HERE.
Can infrared Therapy Heal Toenail Fungus?
Though science has not concluded whether infrared light therapy can help with toenail fungus, we’ve found one published study with the 870/930 nm device, with “clinical cure rates (3 mm of clear nail growth) of 63 percent were noted six months after four treatments” (Landsman AS, et al. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2010 May;100:166-177).
Can Red Light Therapy Heal Rosacea?
Through our research, we’ve found many people with Rosacea finding huge relief from their symptoms using red light therapy.
Since Rosacea is an inflammatory condition, red & infrared light can help greatly.
Can Red Light Therapy Reduce Cellulite?
Since cellulite is thought to be triggered by weakening of connective tissues and a decrease in microcirculation, red light therapy can become an alternative to conventional (usually useless) treatments.
Studies have shown that red light therapy alone has no positive effect on cellulite.
When scientists combined phototherapy with massage treatment – cellulite size was reduced by 71%!
When another study combined red light rays with using a topical anti-cellulite gel, LLLT was able to bring about remarkable cellulite reduction.
Do you see the point?
Combine a simple massager along with infrared heat, and supercharge your cellulite treatment by 71% percent!
See more about how to use red light therapy for cellulite HERE.
If you have any question about red & infrared light therapy, we promise to answer within 24 hours. Use the comment section below.
To your health and happiness,